New research conducted by the Institute for Molecular Science of the Universitat de València and of the Institute for Chemical Technology of the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Spanish National Research Council, confirms for the first time the possibility of modulating the magnetic properties of an inorganic material through organic photoactive molecules activated by light.
The scientists from the Institute for Molecular Science of the University of Valencia, Gonzalo Abellán, Eugenio Coronado, Carlos Martí and Antonio Ribera, along with the researchers Hermenegildo García and José Luis Jordá of the Institute for Chemical Technology (Universitat Politècnica de València- Spanish National Research Council), have developed one of the most successful approaches for obtaining new chemically designed hybrid materials.
The study and research on multifunctional hybrid materials is one an important research topic. These scientists have succeeded in synthesizing a hybrid laminar material in which magnetic properties based on hydroxides have been modulated, thanks to the size changes produced in azo molecules under the effect of a light stimulus.
In an excitement with ultraviolet light of azo molecules, the inorganic matrix layers decrease its distance and, therefore, the magnetic properties. The hybrid laminar material can return to its original properties when is exposed to water or to certain air humidity, by the fact that the initial distance between the inorganic matrix layers is recovered.
The success of this research has been based on the interleaving of photoactivatable anionic molecules into the interlamellar space of the inorganic matrix and on achieving the trans-cis isomerization reaction in solid state within the nanometric space left between the layer.
Thanks to this research the path for modulating the magnetic properties of a material is open, applying external stimulus like for example to light, heat and humidity, etc. Thus it is demonstrated that the combination of two components involves more than the simple linkage of functionalities, and which acquire, by a cooperative mechanism new properties not previously achieved, which offers a wide range of possibilities like in the field of spintronics or sensors. These results were published last June in the journal Advanced Materials.
- Gonzalo Abellán, Eugenio Coronado, Carlos Martí-Gastaldo, Antonio Ribera, Jose Luis Jordá, Hermenegildo García. Photo-Switching in a Hybrid Material Made of Magnetic Layered Double Hydroxides Intercalated with Azobenzene Molecules. Advanced Materials, 2014; 26 (24): 4156 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201400713
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